Jaguar Land Rover says it has moved a step closer to vehicles which can drive themselves through a city, autonomously.
The automobile group said it has demonstrated prototype autonomous technology called Autonomous Urban Drive, which enables a vehicle to autonomously obey traffic lights as well as negotiate T-junctions and roundabouts.
This research technology is a step closer to achieving ‘level four’ autonomy in Jaguar Land Rover’s future vehicles within the next decade, the group said.
Level four autonomous vehicles are capable of carrying out the entire driving task for specific environments such as towns and cities without any driver intervention. Using the Autonomous Urban Drive prototype technology, passengers can select a location and the Range Rover Sport research vehicle will decide the best route.
“Our Autonomous Urban Drive research is Jaguar Land Rover’s next step in our development of both fully and semi-autonomous vehicle technologies, said Tony Harper, director of engineering research, Jaguar Land Rover. “However, we aren’t looking at simply replacing the driver, and making cars ‘driverless’. Future technologies will give the driver more not less – they will assist and ultimately enhance the driving experience.”
Jaguar Land Rover is working with Ford and Tata Motors’ European Technical Centre testing connected technologies that will allow cars to talk to each other, as well as to the roadside infrastructure such as traffic lights.
The company said the first set of trials on public roads are due in Milton Keynes and Coventry by the end of this year. These will initially take place on closed roads before evolving into open-road trials and demonstrations as the project draws to a close in the middle of 2018.